Archive for the ‘Nandigram’ Category

Bombs & bullets fly, cops blame Maoists

June 18, 2007

Nandigram, June 17: Guns boomed and bombs flew in Nandigram again today, and police said Maoists were the “brains behind Friday’s attack”.

CPM activists continued their retaliatory strikes against the Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee, hurling bombs and firing across the Talpatti canal. The canal is a stone’s throw from Tekhali bridge, where the CPM began its revenge attack yesterday.

According to officials, the first shots were heard around 11 this morning. They were fired from an abandoned brick kiln on the Khejuri side.

Bombs were also hurled across the canal and the volley continued till 12.30 pm. There were, however, no casualties.

A CPM leader had said yesterday that the party wanted to avenge Friday’s “humiliation”. A Pratirodh Committee mob had gone on the rampage in villages in Nandigram, burning down CPM refugee camps and injuring five policemen. Over 600 CPM supporters were left homeless.

The police today said Maoists were responsible for the mayhem. Yesterday, they had blamed “outsiders”, while claiming off the record that the Naxalites had led the attack.

Around 15 to 20 Calcutta-based Maoists are still holed up in Nandigram, they added.

“These men have been there for more than a week. They are the brains behind Friday’s attack aimed at disrupting the peace process. They’re being treated very well by the villagers in Nandigram,” said a senior officer.

“We’ve made a list of the people responsible for Friday’s violence. But we cannot take action because we don’t have the orders to go inside the villages,” said Debashish Boral, the Tamluk additional superintendent of police.

The police found over 22 spent cartridges — some were 8 mm and the rest 12-bore cartridges — and used bullets of .315 rifles today. Boxes in which the 8-mm cartridges had been packed were also found on Bhangabera bridge. They had been manufactured in Pune.

An official said some of the attackers were armed with sophisticated weapons. “Among the 300-odd people in the mob that day, around 50 were carrying firearms. Twenty of them were sophisticated weapons.”

Boral said the police have requested CPM supporters in Khejuri to “lie low and not invite further trouble. There should not be any further provocation for more violence”.

The Pratirodh Committee said the “battle” would continue till the committee’s demands are met. It wants punishment for those responsible for the March 14 police firing and compensation for the families of the dead.

A five-member team of the Pratirodh Committee led by Trinamul Congress MLA Partha Chatterjee will visit Nandigram tomorrow. Chatterjee said he had written to Union home minister Shivraj Patil and spoken to governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, seeking their intervention to stop the “regular attacks” from CPM camps.

Resistanceindia


Documentary film on nandigram by anindita sarbadhicary

June 11, 2007

Documentary film on nandigram by anindita sarbadhicary

Uttorer Khoje

Comrades… the first one minute shows the events of Nandigram uncensored
while the remaining I couldn’t understand because it was in bengali and there
are no subtitles..

So do watch the first one minute at least if think you won’t understand the whole
documentary.

Link on googlevideo

Nandigram Genocide video with footage of 14th March Massacre carried out by CPM and terror police

May 8, 2007

This film is based on original video footage of 14 march killings of peasents, in Nandigram, West bengal. CPM, a left party Government is responsible for this.

Warning : Contains disturbing scenes of the murders committed in broad daylight
by Hitlerite CPM and West Bengal Gestapo police

Link to Video

The Ghosts Of Nandigram

May 3, 2007

This article is by far one of the most hilarious takes on nandigram.

On this occasion we would like to unveil the new symbol
of the Capitalist Party of India (Murderers).

This symbol is going to be adopted at the Annual General Meeting.

The Ghosts Of Nandigram

By Satya Sagar

01 May, 2007
Liberation

There was panic at the CPM headquarters on Calcutta’s Alimuddin Street as rumours spread like wildfire of a ‘special’ investigative team having arrived to do some fact-finding on the gory events of 14 March 2007 in Nandigram.

The ‘dream’ team, spotted by party activists and corroborated by airport immigration staff, is said to have comprised of the founding fathers of the global communist movement – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels themselves. As if their presence was not enough, accompanying them in tow were a certain Vladimir Illych Lenin and Mao Tse-Tung.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing two white bearded men with prophetic looks asking for directions to get to Nandigram and expressing frustration at the fact that all official road signs in the city showed only turns to the right. Ordinary folk on the other hand were observed turning left even if this sometimes meant breaking through brick walls blocking their way.

One person with a Lenin beard sitting inside the dark-windowed car was seen taking down notes under the heading ‘What is to be done?’ while the Chinese gentleman, with an enigmatic countenance, was overheard saying sceptically “Comrades, getting to Nandigram is not going to be a tea-party”.

This was the grim scenario the CPM top brass had been worried about for years together- the return of Marx, Engels, Lenin or Mao to West Bengal. As long as they dangled like dead corpses from party banners it was fine but now Nandigram had brought them back to life among the people and this was dangerous.

“Why are you all looking so worried” said Buddhadeb Bhattacharya looking around at the glum and sullen faces of top party leaders urgently gathered to discuss this latest crisis hitting them. “And who are these four fellows anyway? Foreign investors looking for land to purchase?” he quipped.

“Idiot! In all these years how many times have I told you to memorise their names and remember what they look like? And yet every time you open your mouth to say ‘Marx’ out comes the word ‘Market'” barked a voice across the table.

“The photos, hanging in party offices all over the country – of Marx, Engels, Lenin – you have not observed them even once in all your life- have you Buddha?” the voice continued. “You just see your own reflection in the glass frame, adjust your kurta, comb your hair and wear that silly grin you got from the last corporate orgy you attended”.

It was Buddha’s turn now to look glum and sullen for nothing he did these days seemed to please Jyoti Basu anymore. And imagine, to be scolded like this in public when he was only following in his mentor’s footsteps and taking forward his legacy.

“Yes, the photos. What will we do with them now? If these blokes, Marx, Engels, whoever…. write a report critical of our land grab operations in Nandigram, we will have to throw away all those expensive portraits? They cost a damn lot of money to make, and will all go waste now” whined Biman Bose.

“Give them to the CPI” whispered someone (with a sense of humour) in the room.
No one laughed of course and instead an ice-cold Brinda Karat, adjusting her red bindi, said “We give nothing to the CPI from now on, not even leftovers. The bloody backstabbers, bad-mouthing us in public!”

The damp Calcutta air inside the party meeting room froze. Only someone with such cold-blooded clarity could induce this sudden drop in temperature so effortlessly (a clue to tackling global warming!). The mood among those gathered also changed abruptly now.

“Ok, enough of lamenting the fact that these stalwarts of global communism are here to check out what really happened at Nandigram. The question is how do we get out of this mess now, for given their reputation they will surely get to the truth?” said Prakash Karat, grateful to Brinda for giving him a chance to break into the conversation.

“Easy enough. Just discredit them thoroughly and make sure no one believes them at all,” said Biman Bose. “After all that is what we have been doing to anyone criticizing us, even if it is those who have been with our own party all these years”.

“Brilliant! Biman da! You can start with the simple fact that all four of them – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao – are outsiders in Bengal. Obviously they are here to incite the peasants, join hands with Mamata and bring down the Left Front government” said Sitaram Yechuri, excitedly jumping from his seat and almost leaping onto the table like in the good old SFI days at some JNU canteen.

“Not just that, they are all foreigners anyway so they must be surely foreign funded too otherwise how did they get here all the way to Calcutta? Who bought their plane tickets?” said Biman, warming up to his old passion for throwing mud and making it stick- anywhere – even on Marx or Engels.

“They may have come by the sea-route, all subversives these days do that” said Brinda.
“Foreigners causing trouble in Bengal? That sounds like the Salim group or Dow Chemicals” said someone at the back of the room in a soft voice. The time for hearing soft voices had however long passed and the discussion now was at a frenzied pitch.

“I like your logic Biman da. Now that I remember, from all the reading I have done – all four of them can be shown to be anti-communist in general and anti-CPM in particular” said Prakash Karat trying to give a pretty theoretical cover to the ugly stuff flying around.

“To begin with, Marx himself said at some point ‘I am not a Marxist’, which can only mean he was anti-Marxist and automatically an enemy of ours. Engels’ father owned a textile mill, so he was a bourgeois masquerading as a revolutionary. On top of this both of them have long beards like the Hindu or Muslim communalists. Lenin too came from an aristocratic background and Mao Tse-Tung is of course the biggest Naxalite in all of modern history” continued Prakash, leaning over to Brinda to see if she was taking notes to send to N Ram of The Hindu.

“Bravo General Secretary! You have finally clinched the logic, now it is time for us to prevent these guys from reaching Nandigram and stopping West Bengal from becoming a global capitalist power. Call Laxman urgently to get the boys ready for action,” shouted Biman.

“Did anybody say action? I know what we should do – get our women cadre to show their backsides to this ‘special’ fact-finding team!” said an excited Benoy Konar, who despite his age still had the spring of a street urchin about him. He was famous for blowing hammer and sickle rings with his beedi smoke- a cool comrade at 75.

“I run the women’s wing, you get Laxman’s goons to do whatever they want” hissed Brinda, the bindi now a fiery red. She didn’t like this old fogy stepping on her turf.

“Laxman’s men had better watch out around Chairman Mao comrades! He still wears his spiked boots from the Long March”, piped up someone in the room.

At this point Buddhadeb woke up with a jolt on his bed. The mobile phone was ringing loudly. He was sweating all over. Phew! What a nightmare it had been! From Marx to Mao in Nandigram indeed!
Buddha picked up the phone, “Salim, is that you?”

“What’s wrong with you babu moshai? You have been seeing the ghosts of Nandigram in your sleep again?’ said the voice from Jakarta with a laugh. “I told you many times, we killed a million communists in Indonesia long ago and you are still spooked by a few dozen dead in your little province?”

“Yes, I saw them again” said Buddha, wiping his brow. “Here I am looking for German, Russian and Chinese investors and all I get are Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao giving me sleepless nights. Oh! Why on Earth do we still call ourselves a communist party and pretend to be Marxists?”

“Good question, Buddha. Welcome to the Salim and Suharto neo-liberal fraternity”

For the first time in an entire month Buddha Smiled.

Countercurrents

Nandigram: Fact And CPI(M)’s Fiction

April 30, 2007

Nandigram: Fact And CPI(M)’s Fiction

By Kavita Krishnan

25 April, 2007
Countercurrents.org

[Kavita Krishnan from Liberation takes a look at facts about the Nandigram massacre and Communist Party of India (Marxist) -CPI(M)-sponsored fiction. Quotations from CPI(M) leaders are from Brinda Karat’s ‘Behind the Events at Nandigram’ ( The Hindu, March 30, 2007), ‘Some Issues on Nandigram’ also by Brinda Karat, People’s Democracy, Vol. XXXI, No. 13, April 01, 2007, ‘Defeat the politics of Terror’ (PD editorial of March 18), CPI(M) Politburo statement of March 14, ‘Singur: Just the Facts Please’, Brinda Karat, ( The Hindu, December 13, 2006)].

‘Behind the events at Nandigram’, says Brinda Karat, is no peasant resistance against corporate land grab. It’s not ‘bhumi ucched’ (eviction from land) but ‘CPI(M) ucched’ (evict CPI(M)) that’s up, she says. In a series of articles and statements by the CPI(M) top brass in media as well as the CPI(M) party organ PD, there is a concerted attempt to serve up CPI(M)’s version of Nandigram episode. Despite mandatory noises of ‘regret’ at the loss of lives in police firing, and a promise to ‘introspect about mistakes, ‘if any’, the arguments being put forth are old, familiar ones. The firing it is said is regrettable, but it’s the gang-up of Trinamool-Naxalites-Jamaat that really has to take the blame for the killings, because they attacked the police who were forced to fire to disperse the crowd. As a result, “in the crossfire that ensued, as always, innocent people became victims”. It’s the CPI(M) supporters who’re the victims of a cleansing operation – contrary to the reports of all independent fact-finding teams. And ‘foreign-funded’, US-backed enemies of communists are spreading canards about large-scale participation of CPI(M) cadre in the March 14 operation, and about sexual assaults on women.

Let us examine the main arguments of Brinda Karat and Co., one by one.

“Once the CM Had Assured No Land Acquisition Without Consent, Why Was the Movement Called Off?”

Brinda Karat argues that there was no raison d’etre for the continuance of the resistance in Nandigram since January 9, since the CM had assured that there would be no land acquisition if the people of Nandigram did not wish it. She adds, “Indeed he is the only chief minister in the country who has made such a categorical statement that a condition for land acquisition must be farmer consent.”

After such a principled declaration by Buddha, why indeed need the movement have continued?

Well, in the first place, let’s ask what price CPI(M)’s ‘facts’ and ‘assurances’? May we draw Brinda Karat’s attention to an article titled ‘Singur: Just the Facts Please’ published in her name in The Hindu after the first bout of police-cadre violence in Singur. In that article she had asserted as ‘fact’ that “Of the 997 acres required, the Government has received consent letters from landowners for 952 acres.” Similar declarations had also been made in an article by no less than the CPI(M) General Secretary in a PD editorial titled ‘Singur: Myth and Reality’.

But an affidavit filed in response to an order of the Kolkata HC by the WB Government on March 27 records a different reality. In this affidavit, the Bengal government admitted that land was acquired in Singur under a section of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 that does not entertain disputes.

It further says that owners of just 287.5 acres accepted the 10 per cent bonus offered by the government for agreeing to not move the court. This translates to a little over 30 per cent of the total 997 acres acquired for the Tata small car plant and ancillary units.

It says compensation cheques have been collected for just 650 acres till date. And this compensation does not in any way imply consent, since it is being accepted as a last resort after the fait-accompli of acquisition. And even this figure amounts to around 67 per cent, which is still lower than the 96 per cent claimed by the CPI(M).

All too clearly the lack of consent presented no hurdle for the CPI(M) to go ahead and deliver the land into Tata hands. And neither Brinda nor Prakash Karat felt any qualms about peddling a deliberate falsehood about ‘consent’ subsequently disproved by the WB Government’s own affidavit! Were the people of Nandigram wrong then, to continue with their visible and determined dissent that could not under any circumstances be construed as ‘consent’? Had they not done so, would they have succeeded in preventing the SEZ from coming up on their lands?

We have repeatedly pointed out how the much-touted ‘compensation package’ at Singur inverts the principles of Operation Barga (which allotted 75% of the agricultural produce to the sharecropper and only 25% to the absentee landlord), giving just 25% compensation for sharecroppers. Neither Brinda Karat nor PD have ever bothered to explain the logic for this reversal.

However, Brinda Karat and Co. may be right that the motive behind March 14 may not be land grab – it was instead a cold-blooded act of retribution on the very people who had been staunch members of the CPI(M) till the other day. It was an act of collective punishment, in keeping with the promise Benoy Konar made in January: “We’ll surround them and make their life hell.” Tanika Sarkar, in her moving and disturbing narration of her visit to Nandigram after the carnage, recounts how villager after villager repeats the threats they receive: “Cross over and join the CPI(M) camp, or else we’ll cut you to pieces”.

But the victims of March 14 were left in no doubt of the nature of the ‘crime’ which had brought such punishment onto their heads. According to Tanika Sarkar, women who show the marks of sexual assault and beatings all over their bodies said that their attackers in police uniform (referred to interchangeably by the villagers as prashasan, cadre and police) accompanied the violence with abuse – “Saali, jomi debi na? Jomi rakhbi? ” (Bitch, won’t hand over your land? You’ll keep your land will you?”

“Nandigram Struggle: Not Peaceful, not Democratic”

The CPI(M) PB statement states clearly: “It is regrettable that lives have been lost in police firing. But the organised elements who utilised bombs and pipe guns on the police have to take the blame.” So the CPI(M)’s ‘introspection’ about ‘mistakes’ leads it to the same ‘blame the outsider’ conclusion! Brinda Karat and other party leaders have referred to the Nandigram struggle as an a bid to ‘cleanse’ Nandigram of CPI(M) supporters. It is claimed that 2500-3000 such supporters have been driven out, turned into refugees and subjected to terror. What about their human rights, she asks? She adds that “shockingly and sickeningly”, reports by Left intellectuals have not referred to this crime against hapless CPI(M) people, who are also poor peasants just like the victims of police firing. Surely the police had a responsibility to curb the “lawlessness and anarchy”, restore order and ensure these refugees could return?

No fact-finding report, even the one by Medha Patkar, has referred to the Nandigram struggle as a ‘peaceful’ one. The Nandigram mass was an organised and experienced Left mass, which had witnessed the Singur developments and learnt from them. In Singur, they had seen police and CPI(M) cadres employ terror and succeed in grabbing land. So at the very first sign of land grab (the HDA notification) they lost no time in ensuring that Singur could not be repeated. They quite openly cut roads to prevent police entry, chased out CPI(M) cadres who were terrorising the movement locally, and organised night-watch and crude arms to keep at bay the regular assaults and bombings from the CPI(M) camp in Khejuri.

The question to be asked is: do such tactics amount to “lawlessness and anarchy”, or do they fall under the rubric of a democratic movement?

Eminent Leftist historians have vouched for the fact that the tactics used by the Nandigram peasants are all classic strategies used during the Tebhaga movement and the freedom struggle of which Nandigram was a major centre. History records that Nandigram and Tamluk subdivisions had formed the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar, or Tamralipta National Government in 1942, with people evicting the British from the area digging trenches to keep police out, and ‘liberating’ the area for months. If the movement of the peasants of Nandigram against forcible land acquisition is ‘anarchy and lawlessness’, so too must CPI(M) term the Quit India Movement, Tebhaga movement and the Telengana movement to be ‘anarchy and lawlessness’!

CPI(M) has been fond of throwing out the accusation that Nandigram was being turned into a ‘Liberated Zone’ by the anti-SEZ protestors. Well, comrades, can you tell us what is an SEZ – if not a Liberated Zone where corporates are free to loot, levy taxes, enjoy massive subsidies, take over the functions of a municipality, and enjoy impunity from many laws of the land?! If people conduct a ‘Quit India’ struggle against such a Liberated Zone where they lose all their freedoms, how can any Communist, or any democratic individual, blame them?

Further, according to the values and standards of the Left, can there be any equivalence between the might of the State’s repressive arm and the cadres of a privileged and dominant ruling party working in close co-ordination with the State machinery, and the ‘violence’ incurred in the course of the resistance of poor and desperate peasantry?

What of the people in the CPI(M) refugee camps? By all accounts, these camps continue to function as base camps for the CPI(M)’s war against the anti-land-grab forces. Villagers told Tanika Sarkar that the terror is far from over; every night there is a rain of bombs from the CPI(M) base at Khejuri. But it is true that the CPI(M) base, whatever remains of it, are in fact poor peasants too. Brinda Karat asks, “Who gains from this division of the poor, from their feelings of insecurity, loss of livelihood?” Well, comrade, isn’t the answer staring in our faces? The corporates stand to gain land, and the CPI(M), their lost dominance, by pitting one section of the poor against another.

“Nandigram’s Poor: Innocent Villagers ‘Instigated’ by Anti-CPI(M) Gang-up through False Fears of Land Grab”

We would like to remind Brinda Karat that on March 14, and before too, she and other leaders had claimed that “outsiders” were responsible for the violence, while Nandigram’s own people were all for the SEZ and for the CPI(M). Yechury even on March 14, had declared in a press conference that “Outsiders, frustrated by the lack of support from local peasantry in their bid to whip up false fear of land grab, had attacked the police, necessitating firing.”

Subsequently, however, the CPI(M) has had to admit that CPI(M) supporters had in fact deserted the party and joined the struggle fearing land grab.

Brinda Karat will have to answer: is it really credible that this mass of people, who had voted CPI(M) or CPI to power in election after election, had more faith in discredited Mamata and the organisationally weak Naxalites who had no local base, rather than in the assurances of their own MP, MLA, and local CPI(M) leaders? How come they turned against their own party and chased them out, on the ‘instigation’ of those whom they had never before given the time of day? Does the CPI(M) version sound remotely plausible – that this CPI(M) stronghold was tamely led astray and agreed to view the CPI(M) as an enemy, on some false and baseless fears whipped up by a tremendously weak Opposition?

The answer is self-evident: they were forced to lose faith in the CPI(M) because its cadres and leaders, instead of asking their opinion and respecting it, had declared the decision to ride rough-shod over their refusal to give up land. Overnight, CPI(M) forces had turned into a menacing and organized army, agents of corporates who threatened them to give up land or face eviction by force. “Consent…or else” was the message – but the Left training of the mass kicked in, and they chose the tools of resistance that generations of struggle had taught them.

“False Claims of Sexual Violence; Police Fired Due to Provocation “

In other words, was March 14 a mistake or a massacre?

Brinda Karat has taken issue with several fact-finding reports including that of the CPI(ML) team; and has advised that concocting tales of sexual assault will harm the credibility of the women’s movement demand that women’s own statements be accepted as evidence in the absence of any other evidence.

Brinda Karat must be asked a question in return. She is a Rajya Sabha MP, and has been the leader of a highly respected women’s organisation.

The CPI(ML) report relies very little on hearsay – and more on the clear evidence of those who lay injured in hospitals, whose injuries have been recorded medically, and who can definitely be taken to have been on the spot on March 14. In that report, it is mentioned that one woman in Tamluk Hospital who has indeed filed a complaint of rape, has one breast lacerated with a sharp weapon. In SSKM Hospital, too, there is yet another woman whose buttocks are hanging, having been nearly severed by a chopper.

Why does Brinda Karat remain silent on these injuries – clear evidence that the attack on March 14 was not merely somewhat excessive ‘firing’ by a provoked police? Why has she not bothered to go and see for herself if these reports of chopper injuries on private parts of women is indeed true or not, and whether these women could be helped to file complaints and pursue the case?

Again, the clear medical evidence recorded by a large team of doctors from Kolkata is that 70% to 80% of the patients in four camps they set up two weeks after the massacre, have had serious eye problems since March 14 – caused by some substance in the tear gas. Eye irritation caused by ordinary tear gas does not last so long – and certainly cannot cause loss of eyesight. Whereas several people in Nandigram have lost much of their vision due to exposure to the tear gas. Again, this is something Brinda Karat is silent on, and certainly has not bothered to go herself and verify.

If there is any iota of truth in the CPI(M) accusations that their supporter was raped – it is highly condemnable, abhorrent and indefensible, and must be punished. But it cannot be used as a reason to deny the clear evidence of a planned state-sponsored carnage on March 14, or of large-scale sexual violence on women of the anti-land grab movement.

Brinda Karat expresses pious outrage at the ‘cynical’ way in which women and children were placed in the front row. Did these women suffer chopper injuries on breast and buttocks because they happened to be in placed in the front row, comrade? How come Comrade Brinda never says a word of condemnation for the fact that the police were not deterred by the presence of women and children, and police and her party’s cadre indulged in sexual assaults accompanied by abuse?

Were children torn apart and killed? Describing one woman who lies in hospital, crying inconsolably because she says a child was torn from her arms and killed before her eyes, Tanika Sarkar said “One can only hope that such heart-rending accounts of children being beaten to death, drowned or chopped up are some sort of collective hallucination, and the children are actually safe. But one fears these accounts are true.”

The statement by pro-CPI(M) intellectuals had said the West Bengal Government would pay compensation to those affected by the Nandigram attacks. One wonders how come not a single one of Brinda’s articles on Nandigram mentions a word about compensation for those who’ve lost their loved ones, their eyesight, their organs? These are agrarian labourers and marginal farmers, how can they afford blindness; how are their families surviving while earning men and women are forced to do long hospital stints?

On the evidence of the use of a huge number of bullets not usually used by police, of firing above waist level (to kill rather than to rather than to disperse), of the arrests of ten CPI(M) men in a brick kiln with police uniforms and a stockpile of ammunition – both Brinda Karat and PD offer no explanation except to promise that a proper probe, preferably by the judiciary rather than by CBI, will reveal the truth. Meanwhile, inexplicably, the CBI findings have been suppressed and the hearing on it delayed by the High Court.

“Those who oppose SEZs and support the struggles of Singur and Nandigram are ‘anti-industry'”

A whole section of Left economists and intellectuals who have been very close to the CPI(M) have raised serious questions about the WB Government’s commitment to industrialisation and employment generation.

Would Brinda and the PD care to answer or explain:

They speak of ‘facts’, why are they silent on the details of the Tata deal at Singur – details that the WB Government tried to suppress as a ‘trade secret’ until forced to reveal them in court?

Has Brinda Karat happened to read an article in (‘Santa Claus Visit the Tatas’, Telegraph, 30 March 2007 ) by Ashok Mitra, former Finance Minister of West Bengal in CPI(M)’s own LF Government? We quote from the article:

“…The Tatas are, of course, rolling in money. Only a couple of months ago, they invested a sum roughly the equivalent of Rs 50,000 crore to take command of a giant international steel complex. To persuade this fabulously rich group to start a modest-sized car factory here, the state government has already spent something around Rs 150 crore to acquire close to 1,000 acres of land. …the Tatas have been handed over this entire tract of land on a ninety-year lease without any down payment at all. … the government is, really and truly, making a free gift to the Tatas of the land in Singur.

…The state government is, in addition, offering the Tata group a gift coupon in the way of a loan worth Rs 200 crore carrying a nominal interest of only 1 per cent (as against the rate currently charged by the banks of at least 10 per cent); …the entire proceeds for the first ten years of the value-added tax on the sale of this precious car in West Bengal are proposed to be handed back to the Tatas, again at a nominal interest of only 1 per cent. …

All told, therefore, the Tatas are being offered the allure of around Rs 850 crore by the state government…”

Finally, Mitra asks: “Does it not appear obscene that a state government, carrying a burden of debt of more than Rs 150,000 crore and with a countless number of problems, would offer a freebie of Rs 850 crore to an industrial group which has made an outlay of over Rs 50,000 crore only the other day to satisfy their expansionary ego overseas?”

Does Brinda Karat or the PD have an answer? Has Ashok Mitra also turned ‘anti-industry’ according to them?

We also quote from an article by Prof. Tanika Sarkar in Hardnews:

“…industries (in West Bengal ) were allowed to die away, leaving about 50, 000 dead factories and the virtual collapse of the jute industry. …While factories remained closed, half the annual funds under the NREGA (Rural Employment Guarantee scheme) were sent back untouched. We may say that the history (of the LF Government) shows no concern for promoting real industrialisation, or for public concerns, nor for employment generation. What flourished with tender government nurture had been upper middle class luxuries and corporate profits…”

Prof. Tanika’s article goes on to say how in the mid-90s, huge tracts of highly cultivated land were taken over by the Jyoti Basu Government at New Rajarhat near Kolkata. No industry was set up on this land – instead what came up were ‘Vedic Villages’ for the super rich, set up by corporate groups. Various observers report that in these complexes, each house boasts of a swimming pool, and there are massive water sports complexes!

Why was this land from not used for productive industry? Why were the poor evicted from fertile land in vain? Wouldn’t a fraction of the Tata freebie of 850 crores have been enough free locked industrial land for fresh industries?

“US Anti-Communist Conspiracy and Maoist Plot”

Finally, Brinda Karat tries to make for the lack of answers to glaring questions, by falling back on the good old standby of alleging sinister conspiracies and a ‘foreign’ hand. She claims that the “sea route through the Bay of Bengal is being used by the Maoists to come into Nandigram”. Once they land, will they use the Imperius Curse to hex the CPI(M)’s supporters into turning into Naxalites, comrade? Better allow fantasy to remain in the pages of Harry Potter rather than insulting people’s intelligence with tall tales!

Brinda Karat also alleges a US conspiracy angle, saying a US official met with “a leader of the minority community”. This may sound like stuff and nonsense, but the attempt to demonise the minority community by suggesting it is ‘anti-national’ is dangerous.

And if meeting a US official makes one anti-communist and anti-CPI(M), what do we make of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya? On March 7 Buddha was praised by no less than the US Consul General in Kolkata, Henry V. Jardine, for embracing the doctrine that capital has no colour. And is it coincidence that on April 14, exactly a month after the Nandigram massacre, the Bush administration has invited Buddha to pay an official visit to the US? Issuing the public invitation, United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab said “We would like to hear about the political and development aspects of his success”. Surely Bush is not interested in CPI(M)’s success in revolutionary struggles and expanding communism – it’s Buddha’s success in wooing capital and putting down protest that he wants to hear about!

Coutercurrents

4 killed, 16 hurt in fresh Nandigram clashes

April 30, 2007

4 killed, 16 hurt in fresh Nandigram clashes
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, April 29
Nandigram flared up yet again today after a gun battle broke out between workers of the CPM and the Trinamool Congress-led Krishi Bachaoo Committee. At least four persons were killed and over 16 others injured in the incident.

Of them, the condition of eight injured, admitted to different hospitals, was stated to be critical.

Official reports said the two groups were suddenly involved in a pitched battle, which started around 6 am and lasted over five hours, following attempts by CPM workers to enter Nandigram block 2 and “freeing the area from the control of the Krishi Bachaoo Committee”.

During the clashes, houses were ransacked and burnt down, womenfolk and children tortured and beaten up.

Today clashes were on the pattern of the March-14 incident in which 14 persons were gunned down. There was no visible presence of policemen in the vicinity, who virtually stood as silent spectators from a distance.

According to reports reaching the city from Midnapore district headquarters, the trouble started when a group of CPM cadres, carrying firearms and other weapons from the adjoining Khejuri, in east Midnapore, attacked Nandigram block 2 with intent to capture it. Local people retaliated with firearms.

In the gun battle, two local people, Dilip Mondal and Mahitosh Koran, were killed and several others received gunshot injuries.

Later in the hospitals, two others, including Pintu Burman, succumbed to their injuries.

In a separate clash between CPM and SUCI workers at Kultuli in south 24 parganas today, three persons, including two of the CPM, were killed.

At Kultuli, too, trouble began over the control of the area, where both parties had been staking their respective claims.

Both TMC leader Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Somen Mitra held the CPM leadership responsible for disturbing the peace and normalcy in Nandigram.

Mitra accused Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of initiating peace talks on the one hand and engaging his cadres to attack poor farmers, after neutralising the police and the local administration from taking any action, on the other.

The WBPCC will lead a deputation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi to seek Centre’s intervention for protection of poor people at Nandigram and other places. The delegation will also meet President A.P.J Kalam, Mitra said.

CPM leadership on the other hand alleged that the incident occurred when criminals holding Nandigram block 2 attacked the evicted CPM supporters with firearms, bombs, swords and other lethal weapons as they were returning home.

Krishi Bachaoo Committee workers also attacked their supporters, now encamping in the nearby Khejuri area, alleged CPM district secretary Chittadas Thakur.

Mamata Banerjee said agitations would be held all over the state tomorrow demanding the Centre’s intervention into the CPM misrule in the state.

The Tribune

Kanu barb for Mamata

April 30, 2007

Kanu barb for Mamata

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, April 25: Three decades ago he was called an enemy of the state and the parties in power. Today, he still finds no difference between the Left and the Right.
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) general secretary Mr Kanu Sanyal today alleged that the Trinamul Congress has resorted to coercion to grab land at Nandigram for political gains. Although he supported the people’s resistance to acquisition of land, the notorious Naxalite leader of the 70s strongly criticised the Trinamul.
“Miss Mamata Banerjee is more keen to emerge as a political figure. She is not working for the interest of farmers. Earlier we have seen how she hijacked the farmers’ movement from Singur to Kolkata, allowing the government to set up walls around the project site. As minister in the NDA government she supported the Centre’s Special Economic Zone policy. She never said a word after the violence at Kalinganagar in Orissa. Even now she is silent on SEZs. That’s why we never joined her movement.”

The CPI (M-L) had sent a team to Nandigram on 21 April two days later met the governor Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi to submit a report on its observations. Interestingly, most of the report criticises the Trinamul.

“During our visit, Mr Nishikanta Mondal, a Trinamul leader from Sonachura, and his goons severely assaulted Mr Ramkrishna Maity a villager who is still recovering from bullet injury he sustained on 14 March. His only crime was that he helped us organise a meeting at Sonachura Bazar. The same Trinamul goons attacked some other people and ransacked their houses. When we went to hold the meeting we found they had put up Trinamul flags and posters. They said the meeting would be held under Trinamul banner, which we refused to accept. I lodged a complaint with Trinamul legislator Mr Subhendu Adhikary,” Mr Sanyal said.

“The Left Front government is responsible for the crisis in Nandigram. But after 14 March, the Trinamul Congress is using the same methods it had used to establish control over the area. Nandigram has become a farce”.

The CPI(M-L) will organise people’s movement across the state against the state government’s industrial policy, said Mr Sanyal. In its memorandum to the Governor the party complained about the state government’s failure to solve the crisis in the tea gardens in north Bengal.

Nandigram – Hitler Buddhadeb orphans many children

April 5, 2007

Many children have been orphaned in Nandigram with their
parents dead and their bodies missing.Below is the video of two such children.

Link to video

Police man admits his men raped women activists in Nandigram

April 5, 2007

One of primary incentives that motivates thousands of criminals
to join the Indian Police Force every year is the opportunity to
rape women and get away with it.

It is an established fact that several dozen policemen took
part in the rape fest at Nandigram on that fateful night.

Two people have been named what about the rest ?

Police indulged in rape at Nandigram

Kolkata, April 4: In a damning report, police have admitted that two of its men raped a woman during the clashes at Nandigram on March 14, even as the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government was struggling to wriggle out of the crisis arising from the land acquisition protests in West Bengal.

The shocking admission was made by East Midnapore Superintendent of Police G A Srinivas in his report to the state headquarters here and which is part of the report the state government has submitted to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.

WBHRC chairman Justice Shyamal Sen said : “the fact of the matter is that two policemen, against whom complaint has been filed, were found to have raped the woman complainant.” Justice Sen said the report of the police superintendent was part of the report that the state government submitted to the Commission on the incident.

The Commission had earlier sent a notice to the state government on March 15 to file a detailed report on the incident.

He said the Commission had received the initial report and sought more details from the state government on the clashes at Nandigram in which 14 people were killed and 200 injured.
(Agencies)

Chennai Online

List of CPM Criminals involved in Nandigram Massacre

April 3, 2007

Comrade Dreamer has the list of CPM criminals from Nandigram

This is an excerpt from the report of APDR team who visited Nandigram aftar the brutal mass murder and mass rape took place in Nandigram perpetrated by CPM lumpens and goons.

According to the villagers and wounded people, there were many goons and leaders of the CPI (M) party with the police during the police violence. They have also identified some of them. The names of the identified goons and leaders are as follows:
From Khejuri :
1. Bijon Roy
2. Rabiul Khan
3. Himangshu Das
4. Swadhin Pramanik
5. Kebal Das s/o Haripada Das

Nandigram :
1. Ashok Guria , President District Committee AIKS
2. Naba Samanta, Brother of Shankar Samanta, Sonachura
3. Joydeb Paik, (LCS) Sonachura
4. Badal Mondal, Sonachura
5. Anup Mondal, Panchyat Member of Sonachura
6. Bapi Bhuiya, President of Krishak Sabha
7. Sukesh Shanki, Member of Panchayat Samity
8. Lakshman Mondal, Pradhan, 10 No. Sonachura Gram Panchayat
9. Chandan Hajra, Party Member
10. Rabin Bera, ( LCM of Saud khali)
11. Arjun Maity,
12. Iasin Khan, Pradhan, 9 No.Anchal
13. Satadal Das

Anup Mondal, Panchayat member, during the incident on 14th was reported to be using a hand mike to tell people to allow police to do its job.
One of the patients clearly identified the CPM goons present. His testimony is given below.

Subodh Das, S/o Gangadhar Das, Age: 50, Residence: Gangra; Occupation: Van driver
I identified 8 of those who fired bullets; they are CPI (M) goons. They are :-
◊ Lakhman Mondal. Gangra
◊ Badal Mondal, Sonachura
◊ Joydeb Paik, Sonachura
◊ Anup Mondal, Sonachura
◊ Sukesh Sanki, Sonachura (South)
◊ Bapi Bhuiya, Sonachura (South)
◊ Kebol Das, Kunjapur (Khejuri)
◊ Parusaram Mondal, Sonachura

According to the witnesses we met, police officials under whom Wednesday’s firing took place were as follows :-

1) IG Western Range Arun Gupta
2) DIG N. Ramesh Babu
3) S.P. East Midnapore Anil G Srininvasan
4) OC Khejuri PS Amit Hati
5) SDPO Swapan Sinha

It was also reported that the CPM had hidden large stocks of arms in the following places :-
1) Party Office in Kunjapur
2) ICDS building in Ranichawk
3) Janani Brickfield in Sherkhanchawk- where a new bathroom has been made, there is a septic tank which is unused.
4) Bijon Roy’s house in Khejuri